Headlines August 3, 2020

Headlines August 3, 2020

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The state health department today released the results of the bi-annual statewide Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. More than 100,000 students were surveyed across more than 500 public schools in 59 Colorado counties last year.

Some of the findings include: more youth are experiencing depression, but the percentage of youth who have seriously considered suicide and attempted suicide has not changed.

In 2019, nearly 35% of youth reported feeling sad or hopeless, up nearly 5% from the previous two years.

Cigarette use amongst Colorado youth is declining with 5.7% of youth reporting smoking cigarettes, however, significantly more youth are vaping, although the number is down slightly from 2017. Almost 26% of youth reported vaping compared with 27% two years before.

The survey also showed that youth marijuana use has not significantly changed since legalization, but the way youth are using marijuana is changing, with more youth now vaping marijuana.

The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment says they issued 13 citations for violations of the state’s “safer-at-home” order over the weekend, bringing the total number of citations from DDPHE to 50.

9News reports that on Saturday Your Mom’s House, a music venue on E. 13th Ave. was ticketed, placarded and closed for violation of the public health order and the state’s face-covering order. On Sunday, the Welcome Inn on Chestnut Pl., was also ticketed, placarded and closed for violations of the public health order and face covering order.

Several other businesses were given citations for employees not wearing face coverings. On Friday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said there would be more enforcement of the public health orders. Hancock said that cases are plateauing in the city, but more work needs to be done to make sure case numbers steadily decline.

The statewide mandatory mask order requires all people in Colorado over ten years old to wear a face-covering over their noses and mouths when entering or moving within any public indoor space. Denver’s mandate requires face coverings for all individuals three years of age or older with some specific exemptions.

Aurora police have apologized to a group of Black children who were detained and at least two handcuffed during a weekend investigation of a stolen car. 9News reports that the group of girls ranged in age from 6 to 17 years old.

A video shows the 17-year-old and 12-year-old lying on their stomachs with their hands cuffed behind their backs, and a 14-year-old girl lying next to the 6-year-old, also on their stomachs, in a parking lot next to the car. They can be heard crying and screaming as officers stand with their back to the camera.

The witness to the event, who shot the video, said on camera that the police drew guns as they initially approached the car.

Officers were investigating a car theft but later determined that the vehicle they were seeking had the same license plate number but was from out of state.

The apology comes as Aurora police are facing criticism for their handling of recent protests over death of Elijah McClain last year.

The Aurora City Council is expected to approve a new police chief at its meeting tonight in addition to considering a citywide ban on police using chokeholds. McClain died after being put in a chokehold and having ketamine administered.

 

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The Aurora City Council is expected to approve a new police chief Monday night in addition to considering a citywide ban on police using chokeholds.

The Sentinel reports that both of the long-awaited decisions are coming amidst heightened hostilities between Aurora police, and protest leaders demanding criminal charges against officers and possibly firefighters in the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain.

It’s been seven months since the former chief of police retired after a string of scandals. There are four finalists including interim Chief Vanessa Wilson and current commander Marcus Dudley. The other two finalists are Alexander Jones with the Baltimore County Police and Avery Moor with the Dallas Police Department.

City council will also consider whether to codify a citywide ban on police using chokeholds on suspects as well as carotid holds that restrict blood flow to the brain.

Meanwhile, the president of the Aurora Department’s main police union said he is exploring possible criminal charges against the organizer of a protest at the Aurora municipal complex last weekend.

Police Sgt. Marc Sears said he was concerned with comments made by Candice Bailey, a co-founder of the Frontline Party for Revolutionary Action, in front of Aurora police headquarters on July 24. That was the day before two people being shot on I-225 and dozens of windows broken a the courthouse during demonstrations.

In response to the police union’s leader, Bailey said, “If he wants to go there, we can go there,” adding that she hasn’t incited any violence, but instead has worked with the police to keep agitators away.

Bailey was recently named to a new police community police task force; however, Sears, the police sergeant, was prevented from joining the entity.

The police have arrested the man alleged to have shot at a Jeep that drove into a crowd during the demonstration, but they have not arrested the driver of the Jeep.

Residents of the Stapleton neighborhood have chosen to rename the area “Central Park.”

On Saturday the local neighborhood organization announced the results of a final week of voting. Residents could also have chosen “Skyview,” but “Central Park” received 63% of the vote.

The Denverite reports that for years people have been advocating to remove the old name, due to its connection to Benjamin F. Stapleton, a former Denver mayor who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

The new name comes from a massive park in the neighborhood that sits along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in far northeast Denver.

State Senator Angela Williams, who lives in the neighborhood, spoke on Saturday after the announcement and said the neighborhood is saying it doesn’t support racism or social injustices.

Meanwhile, The governor has named the 12 members of the board that will look at names of public spaces and geographic features in Colorado. Three are from Boulder, including CU Professors Patty Limerick and William Wei, both historians, and Junie Joseph a member of the Boulder City Council.

The Board will evaluate proposals to change the names of certain public places and make recommendations to the governor. The Daily Camera reports Polis announced he was creating the board last month amid calls to change names of landmarks with racist or controversial names.

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that a man cannot be deported from the United States based on a drug conviction in Colorado. The case could have broad implications for immigrants who have been convicted of minor drug offenses.

The Denver Post reports that Everett Johnson, a citizen of the Bahamas who became a permanent resident of the U.S. more than 40 years ago, pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance in Colorado four years ago.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Board of Immigration Appeals sought Johnson’s removal from the U.S.

However, the Court of Appeals ruled that the Colorado law used as a basis for deportation is overbroad. The attorney who represented Johnson said the decision will help a lot of people who have minor drug convictions.

A wildfire sparked by lightning spread rapidly across 1,500 acre north of Grand Junction yesterday. The fire is on federal property, and a spokesperson said that the fire was growing fast and was not controllable as it’s been so dry.

The Colorado Sun reports that the state currently is one of the drier parts of the country, and although conditions have improved somewhat in recent weeks, the long-term outlook is relatively grim.

Nearly all of Colorado is experiencing drought, according to the latest data released by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This year’s drought isn’t the most severe of the past decade, but according to Richard Heim, the author of the drought monitor, it will take years and years of heavy rain to get back up to normal.

A year ago Colorado was surprisingly moist, but conditions have deteriorated, with relatively warm temperatures and a high rates of evaporation.

Heim added that people need to understand that drought is not just what’s happening in the last couple of weeks, but it’s is the accumulation of dryness that has accumulated over a long period of time.